I’m continuing the theme of attempting to answer some fundamental questions about the scale of development.
This week I’m focusing on infrastructure.
Question 4: what infrastructure is going to be provided to match this huge increase in population, if any?
If you believe the developers and the planners then there will be lots of new infrastructure. First we’ll look at schools and roads.
But in the past we’ve seen developers go out of business before the infrastructure is delivered. Often then rising like phoenixes from the ashes in new companies without the obligation to meet the commitments of the past.
There are current commitments to build three new primary schools (the one on Crab Hill has already been delivered, the two on Grove Airfield will be delivered eventually – we hope).
There should also be a new secondary school on Grove Airfield but - as Persimmon only has to deliver the land to the County Council and the Council then has to build the new school with government money - the scale of the school is at the whim of a government minister.
There should be at least two new roads.
The Wantage Eastern Relief Road will go from the Mably Roundabout on the A338 to the Lockinge turning on the A417 and skirt the edge of the Crab Hill development.
The work on this has already started. The developers are paying for the pieces at each end and a Government grant is paying for the piece in the middle – the grant has to be spent in 2023 so keep your fingers crossed.
The Grove Northern Relief Road was originally envisaged to go from the Airplane Roundabout straight up to Grove Cemetery and across to the Williams Roundabout but landowners didn’t like this idea and have refused to sell the land necessary to follow this route.
So the expected route of the road from the Airplane Roundabout is along the newly straightened Denchworth Road to Cane Lane then hopefully winding through the Airfield Development to the Denchworth Road near the Cemetery.
It should then cross the road and go behind the Cemetery and join up with the road through the new developments north of Grove and eventually join the A338.
As you can understand, this won’t be a relief road because it will still go through housing estates and people will still have heavy traffic thundering past their homes.
I’ve run out of space so more next week.